Silence is complicity...especially for someone occupying a leadership position.
"prepare to hear boasts from candidates that "I'm a third (or fourth or fifth) generation Montanan."
Ever noticed that comments like "I'm an 8th or 10th generation Montanan" (anything beyond about 5 or 6) usually have the opposite effect? True natives who may be far more bonded than we immigrants just do not get the same consideration. Hmmmm!?
Good on you Stephanie! In my experience the haters are like dogs yapping at your heels. When you don't run (as you are not doing) they will back off. When you stand up in spite of fear, fear does not necessarily go away, but it loses its power over you and helps feed your soul.
We all need to stand up and speak out now like never before. Thank you for your courage and for living your values.
Just to put a point on it, the lead FS official at the time of the supposed Westside project "collaboration" with the local homeowners and the Bitterroot Restoration Committee said after the timber sale was OK'd, The Bitterroot Restoration Committee actually works on a consensus basis. And have to admit my observation would be on this particular project, as well as on certain other issues I dont believe that theyve met that consensus at this point in time.
One of the main complaints in the ongoing litigation, as well as in the 17 citizen Objections, is the lack of "collaboration". The Objections were dismissed out of hand It seems certain FS officials confirm that claim, now that the NEPA process is over.
The reason this is important, and the way to understand the FS rush to dismiss the failure to genuinely collaborate, is that "collaboration" is required by law to take the analysis shortcuts they took as well as to access the pots of taxpayer money they are using to implement the timber sale. The self-acknowledged failure to legitimately collaborate makes this timber sale and the use of special tax funding illegitimate/illegal.
It is worth noting that one of the fundamental purposes of the clamor for "collaboration" is to give extra weight to local opinions on forest management. The fact that so many of the Objections were from the most local citizens, local homeowners, shows that the concept is not working in practice. Nor should it, in my opinion. Citizens all across the US own that land equally. We locals already earn a bonus by being able to enjoy it on a daily basis. What would you think if residents of Manhattan agreed to sell off parts of the Statue of Liberty to help their local economy. This policy would create a fire sale of public assets by local interests for their own local benefit, which is what we see with our public forests.
I prefer the NEPA process, which gives all Americans an equal voice in commenting on projects that effect their equally owned public land heritage, even if they can't travel hundreds or thousands of miles to attend meetings in Hamilton, Montana. I don't want to have to go to NY to defend the Statue of Liberty from being sold off as trinkets.
Let's not forget, our own Senator Tester was the first to use a must pass rider to delist an endangered species, the wolf. His precedent is going viral of course. Who needs democratic process when you need to get re-elected. Tester is blind to ecology or conservation, yet he boldly jumps in the deep end introducing radical policy changes that have terrible implications. His lack of appreciation for wild nature is rivalled only by his disdain of democratic process.
Going, going, gone...wilderness is a rare and precious thing. It is disappearing fast enough without the collaboration of the Montana Wilderness Association, Wilderness Society, GYC, TNC and the other "conservation" organizations that sell it out for the purpose of their organizational fundraising and the privilege of being invited to the table by politicos indebted to resource extraction and wreckcreational industries. The drain on irreplaceable wildlands is very shortsighted.
OutNAbout says, "While I can understand the desire to incite their fans, generate membership revenue and defend their personally favored form of outdoor recreation, none of that is a very good basis for setting public policy. Of course, the backers of the bill are also selfish in the sense that they would like to visit at least some of the land in the manner they enjoy. But if that manner is as quiet, human-powered, sustainable and environmentally benign (or more so) as currently allowed uses (foot and hoof), then we should all endeavor to accommodate it on at least some of our publicly-owned Wilderness lands."
Out can't seem to fathom any altruistic reason a person or group of people might value wilderness for its own sake beyond selfish gain. I guess today's me-me-mine mindset is blind to the idea that Wilderness is not about recreation or necessarily benefiting any individual person. It is about setting aside some of god's green earth for wildness to run wild. Domination by man has subdued most landscapes and the trend continues. "Compromise" keeps cutting the cookie in half. That's a recipe for exponential loss of wildlands, and in these much touted legislated "collaborative" "compromises" Wilderness never even gets half.
Bikes would shrink wildlands even more because they travel much faster than foot or horse users. Why do bikers want it all? Why are they not satisfied to ride on the 95+% of public land available for bikes? Blind selfishness trumps nature and will until humans grow some humility and generosity of spirit. Wreckcreation is doing just that
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